First explosion on the Crimean bridge was a year ago: how it happened and what is needed to completely destroy Putin's "sacred" building
Exactly one year ago, on October 8, 2022, the first explosion occurred on the Crimean Bridge. As a result, two half-sections of the road part of the structure collapsed, and a railroad track was also damaged. On July 26, 2023, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Malyuk, confirmed that the Kerch Bridge explosion was an SSU operation.
On the anniversary of the incident, the intelligence service told OBOZREVATEL that Russia had suffered the most painful reputational blow. Thus, the opening of the bridge in 2018 was considered one of the greatest achievements of the president of the aggressor country, Vladimir Putin, and after the attack on Ukraine in 2022, the structure was one of the most protected objects of the occupiers. Read more about the first attack on the Kerch Bridge in the article below.
How the operation took place
At 6 a.m. on October 8, 2022, a truck exploded on the Crimean Bridge, destroying two spans of road surface, and seven fuel tanks caught fire on the railway line, engulfing a freight train. The occupation authorities of the peninsula announced the death of 5 people.
On the anniversary of the explosion, the SSU told OBOZREVATEL that in October, the Security Service dealt Russia its most painful reputational blow.
"It is symbolic that it happened just the morning after Putler's birthday, when the bunker grandfather had a hangover headache," the special service said.
The SSU said that a year ago, the bridge was blown up by a truck with 21 tons of TNT equivalent explosives, which was disguised in rolls of packing film, and the occupiers managed to "bypass" special jammers. The operation was developed personally by the head of the special service Vasyl Malyuk and several employees.
"With this attack, the SSU destroyed the myth of the most protected bridge in the world. And on July 17, 2023, the Security Service again dragged Russia through the mud, successfully attacking the bridge with the help of Sea Kid drones," the Security Service said.
Consequences of the Kerch Bridge blowing up and the occupiers' reaction
The Crimean Bridge, which connects Ukrainian Crimea and the Russian Taman Peninsula, is one of the logistics elements of the Russian occupiers and has been used since the beginning of the invasion to supply the Russian Armed Forces that seized territories in southern Ukraine.
Its road section has been used for military transportation since 2018, before the railroad was opened. After the explosion, traffic on the bridge was suspended, and on the evening of October 8, the undamaged half was partially reopened to vehicles and buses. On May 5, 2023, the Russian Federation announced that it had fully restored the destroyed part of the Crimean Bridge.
Immediately after the explosion, the occupation authorities of Crimea accused Ukraine of the blast, and Kremlin propagandists called for a tough response to Kyiv.
On October 10, Putin called the explosion on the Kerch Bridge a terrorist attack "aimed at destroying the critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation," and "the authors, executors and customers" were "Ukraine's special services."
On July 8, 2023, then-Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar said that the attack was carried out by Ukrainian troops, and on July 26, SSU Head Vasyl Malyuk confirmed that his special service was behind the bridge bombing. He later revealed the details of the special operation.
How to completely destroy the Crimean bridge
The destruction of Putin's "sacred" bridge must be comprehensive. It has a long length of 18 km, so it is not enough to blow up one pillar - there must be hundreds of them, so that the bridge goes under water for hundreds of meters and the occupiers can no longer repair it, said military expert, retired colonel Petro Chernyk in an exclusive interview with OBOZREVATEL.
According to his estimates, the Crimean bridge should be taken under fire control, which can only be done with long-range missiles, since the nearest positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are about 250 km from the bridge.
"For the sake of argument, it's 250 km from Kerch to Gulyai-Pole. ATACMS has a range of 300 km. ATACMS can cope with this task. As well as long-range missiles that can be equipped with F-16s, in particular AGM-158 JASSM," explained Chernyk.
The expert added that the missile strikes should be massive and carried out on a regular basis.
"A barge comes to repair the bridge - it is destroyed, the next one comes - it is destroyed. And so on for several months. Only then will real problems begin in Crimea," noted the colonel.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- On the morning of July 17, 2023, a second powerful explosion occurred on the Crimean Bridge. Several large dips in the roadway were created, and three people died.
- On August 12, the occupiers again announced an attack near the Crimean Bridge. At least four explosions and shooting were heard there, and the invaders' air defense system was operating. Traffic across the bridge was blocked.
- In September, the head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, promised to bring the Crimean Bridge case to an end, noting that Russian dictator Putin would be upset.